Figuring out your opponent – How the experts do it !

Today we looked at how elite Judoka can figure out their opponents quite quickly and identify the main strength of their opponent. Look at the 2nd video below and you will see how Takamatsu (JAP) is able to quickly gauge that Burton (GBR) is trying to dominate him with a strong over the shoulder grip and he is trying to wrap up his arm as this is one of Burtons favorite tactics as you can see in the first video of Burton V’s Perrault (CAN).

1st Video Link – copy and paste into your browser

2nd Video Link – copy and paste into your browser


Takamatsu is happy to flop a couple of times so he can work out a strategy to stop this strong grip. He constantly keeps moving, he blocks Burtons arm from coming over his shoulder, he bats away Burton’s grip, he maintains an upright posture and uses his shoulder to shrug of the grip. The contest slowly changes for Takamatsu from being dominated by his opponents grip, to being in control and Burton getting a Shido. More importantly he has stopped Burtons offensive tactics. When he feels in control he is then able to unleash a massive ippon-seoi nage, which was probably his first meaningful attack in the contest. Note how tight the arm is locked in to Burtons shoulder, note the big pull with the left collar grip creating the Kuzushi and when he completes the throw he throws off the side of his body by rotating his shoulders and not throwing over his shoulder.

Excellent work Mr Takamatsu !!!


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